What is a membership covenant?
First, one needs to define the term covenant. In ancient history when people would make binding agreements they would define the terms for both parties and ratify the agreement recognizing death would be the consequence for breaking the covenant. (Not so since Jesus, but follow along with what follows to see the development)
In the Bible we see several covenants made between people and between God and the nation of Israel.
In ancient history and in Bible times, the stronger nation would be the one who would dictate the terms of the covenant. In religion the god of that culture would dictate the terms of religion and religious practice.
The first covenant we see in the Bible has to do with humanity’s role on earth, to be stewards of the earth and to obey God.
The second covenant we see in the Bible is God dictating the design and purpose of marriage.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, the cycle of brokenness and death began. But God provided grace when He did not immediately take the life of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21).
Another covenant was with Israel through Moses in that they would be a people ruled by God’s laws. Some of the laws were binding for all time, others were binding for the time they were in the desert, and some were cultural to set the people apart from other nations and peoples. But the main point of this covenant, combined with the covenant of Abraham, was to state that the people were bound together to follow God by faith.
The people proved they could not perfectly obey and they consistently fell away. But God was 100% faithful in that He stayed true to His side of the covenant, in that He would never let go, and they would always be His, and that He would continuously provide grace.
What was missing is the people needed God living in them to live how God required for them to live. And so there was a promise of a new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Jesus established this new covenant as the first one with God living in Him. And Jesus called people outside of Israel into this covenant community with Israel and He called it the Church.
Those who believe in Jesus are called to voluntarily be a part of the community of Christians called the church. It doesn’t matter what denomination it is so long as the community believes in Jesus, strives to follow everything He taught, and seeks to make disciples in line with Jesus’ Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
The following is Grace Church’s membership covenant:
This is based off the Bible and is orthodox in its teaching.